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Photos: Women of the 'lost' tribes of Angola

Photos Logo Photos | Slide 1 of 15: A Himba woman.    A Himba woman wearing the Himba crown: the Erembe. This crown is made of cow or goat leather and is placed on the head when a girl reaches puberty. The red ochre, however, is applied when the girls are old enough to look after themselves hygienically. The tribesmen do not apply red ochre to their skin. Women wear a large white shell necklace called the ohumba, which is passed from mother to daughter. Equally popular, particularly among married women, are heavy necklaces made from copper or iron wire.

Cut off from the world after 27 years of civil war and buffered to the south by the road-less wilderness of the Namib desert, nomadic tribes still wander Angola’s remote south-western corner, driving their goats and cattle between waterholes as they have for centuries. With every step that a rapidly-developing, oil-rich Angola takes towards modernity, the long-held isolation of these “lost tribes” is in danger of eroding.

London-based photographer Tariq Zaidi and Joan Riera (a Spanish anthropologist specializing in animistic societies of Africa and founder of Middle Africa travel agency) joined forces to search for the last vestiges of tribal culture in Angola.

They traveled from village to village and market to market, showing people archival photographs of rare ethnic tribes from the 1930s-50s, asking if anyone knew or had seen people like those shown in the photographs. What follows are images of the remarkable people they met and what they learned about their way of life. (Pictured) A Himba woman wearing their crown, the Erembe. Made of cow or goat leather, it is given to a girl when she reaches puberty.

All captions provided by Tariq Zaidi, whose work you can follow on Facebook (@tariqzaidiphotography) and Instagram (@tariqzaidiphoto).

© Tariq Zaidi/ZUMA Press
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